Before I pull the trigger...?


Apr 20, 2020
Springfield, MO
We are considering an Intex Ultra XTR 20’ round as our first.

We have 4 kids all 10 and under. We haven’t purchased anything yet. This would be a pool we would use 2-3 seasons before we move. So we would prefer to keep costs lower. But we would like a saltwater system and to make the right decisions on the front end especially regarding pump, filter, skimmer, etc. with that info what would you all recommend?


Gold Supporter
Jun 9, 2018
Walton, KY
That’s what we bought for our first pool, with kids same ages as yours, and we loved it!!! We had a SWCG and hooked up a used pump and sand filter from a much larger permanent above ground pool. The filter and pump the pool comes with will not do the job, or barely if you’re lucky. We set the SWCG to run for about 3-4 hours a day if I remember correctly. This was adequate to keep the pool crystal clear with very little maintenance (except some vacuuming). Like you, we used it for 3 seasons before we moved. We put in a large above ground at our new house. This will be our third summer with it. We learned a lot from our first pool!!!


LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
south east Arizona
you can make the tiny pump and filter that comes with intex pools work, but it takes some diligence. the key is to learn and practice TFP water chemistry. read Pool School - Pool School - Trouble Free Pool, especially ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry - Trouble Free Pool learn all you can from that, and your best investment besides the pool itself is a good Test Kits Compared - Trouble Free Pool. it will pay for itself and might even save you needing to upgrade your pump and filter.
the other major expense/time/labor you face is getting the ground where you want to set up the pool as level as you can, search the site for info on how to do that (or hire it out!). after that you can fill, test and start having a great summer!


LifeTime Supporter
Sep 27, 2012
Medicine Hat, Alberta
Search the forums for Intex XTR frame pools, last year there was a "bad rash" of rust issues with these pools.
Myself I am on the eight year with my regular round tube Intex, using an SWG. I did some looking around and Wal-mart still sells my pool as I expect I will replace it within the next two years or so.
Also take time to read and reread all the links PV2 posted, I have been here for a couple of years and still reread them at least 3 times a year. TFP is a very easy and cost effective system.


Apr 20, 2020
Springfield, MO
Thanks for all of the info. I have been reading, and reading, and reading, I am very appreciative of all the info. I feel like with TFP I’ll be successful. We pulled the trigger on a 24’x12’ XTR with saltwater system. Over the course of a week we watched as the Intex website sold out of the round XTRs then the rectangles started selling out. Apparently everyone has the same idea. ?
Now the work begins to level the yard. Other than a good test kit, what else would help ensure success when starting out? When buying salt, can I go to Sams Club and buy 40# bags of strictly salt for softener systems? I read somewhere that a 9k gallon system will need just over 210 lbs of salt.


Well-known member
Apr 4, 2015
Western, WA
I've used 40# salt bags from Home Depot that are for water softener systems--these have worked well for us. Yes, you are right on Intex pools selling out! I've been watching the 26' x 52" size for a long time as ours rusted out badly after three seasons. Perhaps I've been waiting a bit too long as the prices I see (if you can find them) are going up. Before this virus hit I was seriously considering a permanent 27' x 54" pool install this spring. That'd still be my preference, but there's a lot up in the air right now.